YMCA Thames Gateway’s CEO, Dave Ball, is taking on the gruelling 178 mile Tartan Trail cycle ride in Scotland this August, raising awareness and funds for the charity’s youth mental health work.

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As someone who has lived at YMCA Romford, Dave knows only too well what an uphill battle with mental health young people can face.

“This ride will see me taking on 20,000ft of hills across the Scottish highlands – I wanted to take on a real challenge, something that will test me physically and mentally. This mirrors my journey to some extent, and the lives of all the young people who rely on us, trusting us at such a critical stage in their own lives.

At a time when everyone’s resources are under enormous pressure we are growing our charity to meet the demands of our communities. Good mental health is the key for people to recognise and reach their potential. YMCA started by helping people look after their mind, body and spirit, we do the same today with people of all ages encouraging them to belong, contribute and thrive. We give them all that we can and yet we want to be able to do so much more, please help us, your support is vital.”

YMCA Thames Gateway hopes to raise a minimum of £5,000 in support of this challenge – this could enable 1000 hours of counselling for their most vulnerable residents in Romford, Dartford and Woolwich. The charity is calling on local businesses to pledge their support for this challenge by donating £50 – in return they will print bespoke cycle jerseys for each day of Dave’s challenge displaying the company logos. Please contact the Fundraising Team if you would like more information or to get involved.

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Call YMCA today to find out more about the work that they do in the local community, find out how you can help them, and how they might be able to help you…